With the implementation of severe drunk driving consequences, the number of impaired driving fatalities decreased until the mid-‘90s, at which point the reduction stalled. While the improvement is important, it is also important to know that in 2018, if all drivers on the road had been below the legal BAC limit, there would be 7,100 more people alive.
Experts generally agree that the main key to lowering the number of alcohol-impaired drivers is deterrence. If people believe they are likely to get caught, they are less likely to drive drunk. In order to find the best ways to lower future drunk driving, let us consider the steps that have worked in the past. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident or have lost a loved one, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.
One of the most successful anti-drunk driving campaigns has been administrative license suspension. In most states, the police can take away the license of a person who either does not submit to testing to fails their alcohol test. Losing their license is a good deterrent to a good number of people.
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld sobriety checkpoints as long as certain criteria are met. These checkpoints do not always lead to a large number of arrests, but they are required to be visible and publicized – which can help prevent people from risking drinking and driving. However, not all state laws allow for sobriety checkpoints.
Increasing the Minimum Drinking Age
It wasn’t long ago that the minimum drinking age was 18. Today it is 21 and the reduction of drunk driving accidents was one of the most compelling arguments to raise it. The argument was that younger drivers have much higher crash risks than older drivers, so raising the legal age at which these young drivers can legally drink helped to lower drunk driving cases.
Adding Alcohol Interlocks
In many states, if a person is convicted of impaired driving they must have an interlock system in their vehicle. This requires them to breathe into the system in order to start their car. If they have been drinking, the vehicle will not start. Study after study has shown that these devices can help reduce drunk driving and save lives.
Are New Rules on the Way for Drivers Under the Influence of Marijuana?
As marijuana becomes legal, new rules will need to be set in place. This is more complicated than drunk driving because there is no reliable test to determine if a person is under the influence at any given time. This is due in large part to the fact that marijuana stays in a person’s system much longer than alcohol does.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, please contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.